Kamanzi and Dr Xu Jincai at the signing of the MoU. Pic credit. Steven Muvunyi
Emmanuel Kamanzi and Dr Xu Jincai sign MoU to cater for more technical courses. Pic credit. Steven Muvunyi

The People’s Republic of China has agreed to boost its support to Rwanda’s energy sector through the Hangzhou Regional Centre for Small Hydropower (HRC), which conducts training, R&D, consultation, design and information dissemination for the developing countries.

Li Yaohong, the economic and commercial counsellor at the Chinese Embassy in Kigali, said China will continue to contribute to developing the energy sector in Rwanda.

He stated that: “Hydropower plays an important role in China’s economy; we hope our experience would help Rwanda.”

Hydro and rural electrification

The three-week training, organised by Rwanda Energy Group (REG) in partnership with the Hangzhou Regional Centre and the Chinese ministry of commerce, facilitated at least 25 engineers from REG acquiring skills in hydropower and rural electrification.

Emmanuel Kamanzi, the managing director of the Energy Development Corporation Limited (EDCL ltd), said the training was a ‘golden opportunity for them’ and thanked the Chinese government for its support.

Kamanzi explained: “We used to send [a] few people to foreign countries for such trainings since 2001 and it was costly. With the help of [the] Chinese government, we [have] increased the number of trainees.

Skills development

Kamanzi added: “This training has been much more beneficial. The knowledge acquired from it will help us develop the energy sector.”

Emmanuel Kirenga, a recipient of the training, expressing his gratitude to the trainers, said: “There are many things we have been doing using inadequate knowledge. This training is an added advantage.

“Analysis of hydropower projects and suitable identification of sites are among the new elements we have acquired.”

Memorandum of Understanding

The EDCL, an organisation that works under the umbrella of REG, signed a memorandum of understanding with the Hangzhou Regional Centre for further cooperation in the energy sector.

Dr Xu Jincai, the deputy director of HRC, on signing the MoU said: “We want to enhance our cooperation with EDCL; that is why we signed a MoU to cater for more technical courses. Rwanda has many energy resources. In the future, we can have more cooperation and give more support.”

Renaissance hydro dam

In further east African news, Sudan and Ethiopia signed a 500 kv power line contract on Wednesday last week, which will enable Sudan to benefit from the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.

The Director of the Sudanese Company for Electricity, Jafar Ali Al-Basher signed on behalf of Sudan and the Director of the Ethiopian Company for Electricity and Energy signed for her country.

The two countries have elected the Italian engineering company CESI to carry out the consulting work for the power line.